Jackson Hole News & Guide
Written By Tibby Plasse
Carrie Boynton, executive director of the Animal Adoption Center, visits with Diehl Gallery artist Matt Devine in 2022. The gallery supports nonprofits, including the Adoption Center, by asking art purchasers to give 5% of the acquisition cost to a charity.
Diehl Gallery began partnering with nonprofits when native New Yorker Mariam Diehl purchased the Jackson branch of the Park City-based Meyer Gallery in 2005, putting her own name on the business after having been the director at Meyer for three years.
Diehl, who has both a Bachelor and Master of Arts in politics from New York University, left her professional track in development for the gallery world when she moved to the Tetons.
“I was a fundraiser for nonprofit organizations in New York City before relocating to Jackson in 2002,” she said. “Supporting nonprofits is in my blood and close to my heart.”
So it’s not surprising to learn that Diehl Gallery celebrates a philanthropic thread with every exhibit.
“Being able to bring that love into my gallery world was critical for me,” Diehl said. “I found that making art acquisitions about more than dollar figures — essentially forcing my clients’ hands at philanthropy — was a perfect scenario.”
Since opening its doors, Diehl Gallery has married a philanthropic and artistic mindset by supporting local, national and international nonprofit missions, including American Forests and the American Prairie Reserve, Animal Adoption Center in Jackson Hole, Elephant Crisis Fund, Grand Teton National Park Foundation, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Jackson Hole Land Trust, Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation, Jenny Lake Rangers, Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation and Teton Raptor Center.
Over the years, Diehl said, the gallery has supported more than 25 nonprofits and raised over $100,000 for a wide variety of causes. “We’re very proud of that,” she said.
The gallery directs 5% of the acquisition cost of artwork toward the selected nonprofit, and Diehl said the model works well.
“Essentially, the 5% the client writes to the nonprofit comes out of the artist’s pocket and the gallery’s pocket, so we want them to feel positive about the partnership.”
As the gallery matches nonprofits with artists, it always runs the nonprofit by the artists for their approval first. But often, Diehl said, the connection continues outside the exhibition.
“Many times, the relationship goes even farther,” she said. “For example, the Grand Teton Music Festival hosts concerts in the gallery, and they are open to the public.
“This is a lovely expansion upon our donations to the organization and their way of thanking us in a way that benefits locals and visitors, who enjoy a free, world-class concert in a beautiful, art-filled venue.”
At the end of each exhibition the gallery hands the nonprofit partner a stack of checks instead of sending one donation check — and for good reason.
“Rather than the gallery writing a check at the end of an exhibition, we have collectors write the check to the nonprofit and give it to us,” Diehl said. “They send acknowledgment letters to each collector, thus expanding their donor base.”
And, she added, it’s not uncommon for donors to add in some extra cash.